A-League winners and losers: Successful Socceroos audition and red card nightmares

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A crazy weekend of A-League action

The round started with one of the craziest first 45 minutes of football you'll ever see and that set the scene for a dramatic weekend of action.

Two decisive red cards, goalkeeping heroics and all with Socceroos boss Graham Arnold watching on - Round 8 of the A-League delivered in more ways than one.

Check out our winners and losers below...

  1. Winner: Terry Antonis

    With Aaron Mooy set to miss the Asian Cup, Terry Antonis put in another convincing case to replace him in the Socceroos squad on Friday night.

    Though failing to score or assist in a 4-2 win over Brisbane Roar, the midfielder once again impressed creating two chances and completing the most recoveries.

    Antonis' flicked back-heel pass to Corey Brown in the first-half led to a fine Ola Toivonen goal and the 25 year old is arguably in career best form.

    With three goals and three assists to date this season, he'll be a hard man for Graham Arnold to overlook for the Asian Cup.

    Though he's no Mooy, Antonis is a very handy replacement with his superb fitness levels just another tick next to his name. 

  2. Loser: Eric Bautheac

    Brisbane Roar coach John Aloisi claims the Frenchman has been kicked from pillar to post this season, but there was no excusing Eric Bautheac's behaviour at Suncorp Stadium on Friday.

    The winger was lucky to avoid a straight red for a shocking challenge on Brown with his subsequent reaction leaving the referee with no choice but to send him off.

    Bautheac would then leave the field in a huff, kicking whatever was in his path as he made his way up the tunnel.

    It wasn't a good look for the player nor Brisbane, who were inevitably over-run by Victory as a result.

    The Frenchman might be getting targetted this season, but he must find a way to keep his head and deliver for Roar on the pitch.

    With just one assist and no goals to date, it's not exactly the output Aloisi would have been hoping for.  

  3. Winner: Tony Popovic

    Life couldn't have started much better for Tony Popovic at Perth Glory.

    Currently top of the A-League and undefeated from their first eight games, the club have quickly found another gear under Popovic.

    As strong as they've ever been defensively, conceding the fewest goals of any club to date, and sharp as a tack in attack, Perth will prove a real handful this season.

    Against Newcastle Jets on Sunday, two first-half goals allowed Popovic to shut up shop and frustrate Ernie Merrick's side.

    Despite having just four shots to the Jets 22, Glory still managed to ground out a 2-0 win and it's a performance that we'll no doubt see more of. 

    Popovic hit the ground running with Western Sydney Wanderers and it appears he's doing it again in Western Australia as Perth chase some long-awaited silverware. 

  4. Loser: Mike Mulvey

    With Popovic flying in Perth, Mike Mulvey has failed to take off on the Central Coast.

    In fact, the Mariners' engines appear to be on fire with the club recording the worst ever start to an A-League season after a 2-0 defeat to Wellington Phoenix on Saturday.

    No side has previously had just two points from eight rounds and it's a record Mulvey won't be happy about.

    The new coach can only take so much of the blame though - with injuries to key players like Ross McCormack, Tommy Oar and Ben Kennedy not helping matters. 

    Central Coast have developed a habit of conceding in added time this season too and thrown invaluable points away in the process.

    As coach, Mulvey must simply find a way to get more out of this side and suggested he'll now turn to the club's youth in search of answers.

    “You don’t want to throw them in when things are not going right but they deserve an opportunity now and I think we need to look at that,” Mulvey said.

    “In five or six years there will be relegation. We need to develop our own players because we weren’t producing what we were producing six, seven, eight years ago."

  5. Winner: Eugene Galekovic

    He's got the record for most games in an Adelaide United shirt, but Eugene Galekovic showed his former side no mercy on Sunday as Melbourne City claimed a 2-0 win. 

    Galekovic made two top-class saves to keep the Reds out and completed a game-high 17 recoveries. 

    Fit and firing under new City goalkeeping Zeljko Kalac, the 37 year old continues to show he's still got plenty left to give in the A-League.

    Mark Birighitti has yet to see any action with Galekovic in such good form and it's hard to see him slipping up any time soon.

  6. Loser: Western Sydney Wanderers

    A sixth straight derby defeat. A brain snap of the highest order from Vedran Janjetovic. And one 'very angry' coach.

    It was a night to forget for the Wanderers against Sydney FC on Saturday with Janjetovic's red card turning a promising match into nightmare as they fell to a 3-1 defeat. 

    Markus Babbel's subsequent decision to pull off Alexander Baumjohann left the German star gutted and in turn left Western Sydney bereft of any clear attacking threat. 

    Homebush once again proved a cruel host for the Wanderers faithful with severe storms and train outages seeing just 18,043 fans in attendance at ANZ.

    The loss leaves the red and black three points outside of the top six in eighth and plenty of work to do if they are to be competitive this season.